Variety: 100% Chardonnay
Cost: $15 (SRP)
Winemaker’s Notes: The rich, slightly sweet, apple flavors are enticing and prove that California is indeed the Sunshine State. The Un-Oaked Chardonnay is crisp and clean, and slightly lingers on your palate with apples, followed by citrus and pear flavors. Enjoy with a variety of seafood as well as chicken dishes.
My Review: I’ve been searching for a stainless steel Chardonnay that my wife would happily open a second bottle of, and I think I may have finally found it. I was recently offered a trio of Chardonnay from River Road, and while the Double Oaked Chardonnay was exactly what I was expecting (and something I did not share with my wife), I had hopes for the two Un-Oaked Chardonnays that were the real reason I was willing to try the trio.
I was not disappointed.
So, to get it out of the way yes, the 2020 River Road Un-Oaked Chardonnay is “April Approved.” She tried a glass and even went back for some more of it. It was exactly what she wants in a stainless steel Chardonnay–crisp and refreshing with a bit of character so you don’t think you’re drinking a Pinot Grigio, and not so much acid you think it’s a Sauvignon Blanc.
In the glass the wine was a light gold color with slashes of green that showed through when held up to the light. On the nose I got aromas of banana and citrus, while in the mouth the wine showed tropical flavors of banana and some citrus with a bit of spice coming through as the wine warmed up in the glass.
We paired the wine with a sausage and fennel pasta and it was a great pairing; the citrus notes of the wine were a good compliment to the flavors of sausage and fennel and helped to cut through the little bit of fat in the dish. What I liked most about this wine was that despite being 100% stainless steel fermented, it still had a bit of body to it. It was crisp and clean with a nice refreshing finish, but the mid-palate showed a little body that made it enjoyable to sip by itself or pair with food.
For $15 this is a good value buy and a perfect Tuesday night sipper. I already checked one of my local stores and didn’t find it, but it’s definitely one I’ll be keeping an eye out for.
Editor’s Note: I received this wine as a free sample for review.